Do art and politics mix? Portland gallery invites you to meet the next gov


Paul LePage Republican Gubernatorial Candidiate from Waterville.

LePage working the art circuit in 2010. Photo by Jeff Scher

Andy Verzosa has decided to end his 15 year run at Aucocisco Galleries with an unlikely piece of work: Paul LePage.

The governor holds court at the Exchange Street gallery on Sept. 12th for an informal, meet-the-governor forum. “He will be here at 12 noon and I will turn my keys over to the landlord at 5 p.m.,” said Verzosa.

Between then and now, Mike Michaud and Eliot Cutler will also attend the brown-bag series in Verzosa’s art-filled lair. “One of these guys will become the chief executive of the state, this is your chance to hear them and ask them questions,” said Verzosa, who hosts these one-hour, Q & A sessions starting this Saturday, Sept. 6 with Michaud at 12 noon.

Eliot Cutler Gubernatorial Candidate for Maine at Aucocisco Gall

Getting up close with Cutler during the last primaries at Aucocisco. Photo by Jeff Scher

In 2010 Verzosa held a similar mid-day kibitz with primary candidates and upward of 70 people packed his creative confines. “I had a good number of them, greens, tea parties and democrats,” he said. “It was a big success.”


Verzosa ends with a bang!

So for his last hurrah, before he moves to the Nutmeg state, the Portland native encourages undecideds to bring a burrito and a burning question. Without a primary season and few debates, “there is not a lot of time for a face-to-face opportunity,” said Verzosa. “You can pop in and pop out.”

The free talks will provide a rare and (we hope) personal moment with the candidates. No TV crews. But smartphones are OK. “If someone wants to take a selfie with the candidate, I think that’s acceptable,” he said. “We want it to be a sincere, real, engagement.”

Verzosa, whose gallery has been a pillar of the art scene, plans to pepper the hopefuls with questions on the creative economy. His advice? Don’t be shy!

Sched: Saturday, Sept., 6 Michaud; Thursday, Sept 11, Cutler; Friday, Sept 12, LePage. Address: 89 Exchange St, Portland. 12 noon.

Kathleen Pierce

About Kathleen Pierce

A lifelong journalist with a deep curiosity for what's next. Interested in food, culture, trends and the thrill of a good scoop. BDN features reporter based in Portland since 2013.